Whatever happened to: The farmer wiped out by floods?

A week or so before the big floods in Duluth, about 7 inches of rain fell over a swath of Dakota and Rice counties. The subsequent hail, and then the drought didn’t help farmers any.

A third of Dayna Burtness’ Laughing Loon Farm in Northfield was washed away.

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(MPR Photo/Jennifer Simonson)

Her friends — and a few strangers — pitched in to help restore Ms. Burtness’ dreams.

It worked. There was a big harvest…

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Photo: Laughing Loon Farm (via Facebook)

Dayna Burtness writes on her Facebook page today…


Today I’m looking back at the 2012 farming season, Laughing Loon’s first. What a wild ride! We ended up having a successful year (and being able to pay the bills) despite the flood, hail and droughts only thanks to you all. Thank you first to Seeds Farm for allowing LLF to be a part of your program and community. Thank you to all my employees, especially Daniel and Nicole, who worked SO HARD EVERY DAY. Thank you to everyone who donated their time, energy and money to help us recover! Thank you Lundberg Family Farms for the season extension grant and to all of you who voted. Thank you chef supporters for buying everything we grew and giving me valuable encouragement and feedback. Thank you volunteers for helping clean up and replant the farm! Thank you media for covering the flood and drumming up support, especially Reg at WCCO, Bob Collins at MPR News, Asha Anchan at the Star Tribune, and many others. Thank you farmer friends for transplants, words of wisdom, and being shoulders to cry on. Thank you The Bachelor Farmer and Common Roots Cafe for sending groups of staff members to volunteer. Thanks to my parents, Paul and JeanMarie, who give me love, advice, support, food, and cash flow loans. Thanks to my Northfield family, especially Monica, Molly and Aaron, for feeding me and letting me use your shower. Biggest thanks of all to my sweetie Nick for supporting me and my dreams with love, bug squishing, financial support, and being the best doggy-daddy in the world. Here’s to next season!!

2013 will bring more disasters and more people responding to help out. They will be large problems or disasters only to us as individuals. But people will respond to both. As you become aware of these, please drop me a line and help tell the stories.

  • http://laughingloonfarm.com Dayna

    Thanks so much for helping us tell our story, Bob, and for getting your hands dirty in the tomato field! I hope you’ll visit again during the coming season, although I sure hope it won’t be because of a natural disaster. :) Best to you!

  • http://growmovie.net Owen

    “I really love the community aspect of farming.” young farmer, GROW!

    Cheers Dayna.